NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ontario â The Hilton Garden Inn on 500 York Road an âeco-hotel,â recently announced the installation of its first electric vehicle charging station.
This destination hotel is one of first in Southern Ontario to adopt greener business practices, and cater to the every-growing eco-traveler market.
âWhen Stephen Bieda, the Sun Country Highway Regional Director for Ontario, came to present me with the idea of installing an electric vehicle charging station at our hotel last month, I was very excited. I knew immediately that this was a green marketing opportunity we could not afford to miss,â recalled Frank Vismeg, Managing Director of Marketing & Sales for Hilton Garden Inn, former President of Skal International Toronto North, and currently a proud member of Skal Club of Hamilton, ON Canada.
Skal International is a leader with sustainable development in the tourism industry and offers easy-to-follow tips that ensure travelers not only conserve energy and resources, but also create a cleaner, greener planet for future generations. Skal also provides a forum among its membership for the exchange of environmental ideas from across the globe. The worldwide âidea exchange forumâ includes contributions focused around a diversity businesses activities in a range of climate regions including the near arctic, tropical, deserts, glacial ice fields, mountainous regions, seaside resorts, convention centers, as well as more temperate small and large tourism destinations. See www.skal.travel for more information.
In 2009, Vismeg was involved in Canada's first new construction LEED certified hotel, the Hilton Garden Inn - Toronto Airport to demonstrate the Hilton's commitments to sustainability through water savings, energy efficiency, material selection, and environmental health, which are also practiced at the Hilton Garden Inn, Niagara-on-the-Lake.
âNot everyone can afford a Tesla [$200,000 electric super car],â explained Bieda, âWhich is why vehicles like the Nissan Leaf with its 24-kWh battery pack, priced at around $40,000 and with a range of 160 km is a vehicle that you are more likely to see on the road.â
The other EV that most people have heard of is the Chevy Volt, which is an extended range electric vehicle (eREV) vehicle with a 16.1 kWh battery and a small internal combustion engine. It is the most popular selling EV in Canada and can be driven in the fully-electric mode for about 70 kms before the gas-powered onboard generator kicks in, recharges the battery pack, and extends the overall range of the Volt to a combined 550 kms before needing to recharge with electricity and/or refuel with gas.
âWith the introduction of our newly-installed Sun Country Highway 90 amp charging station, we can attract EV owners from farther away to stay at the Hilton Garden Inn Niagara-on-the-Lake. Most other charging stations being installed are of the slower 30-40 amp variety. We chose to go with the SCH charger to future-proof our installation. The Hilton Garden Inn is also we extending Special Room Rates from $99 for single or double occupancy for electric vehicle owners,â explained Vismeg.
Part of the commitment to purchase the industry's fastest level two charger from Sun Country Highway, was to also agree to provide FREE electricity to those electric vehicle owners who stay at the hotel. Free EV charging is one of the hotel's complimentary guest benefits like wired and wireless Internet service, fridges, coffee makers, and access to our 24-hour Business Center offered at the Hilton Garden Inn - Niagara on the Lake. Sun Country Highway is marketing locations such as the Hilton Garden Inn as part of their âWorld's Longest/Greenest Highway Projectâ which allows EV owners to travel clear across Canada emissions free and free of electricity costs.
Today, the industry standard is the level two 240 Volt EV charging station. It works somewhat like a gas pump except EV owners can park for as long as they need to charge their vehicle which typically takes 1-4 hours. The Hilton Garden Inn has designated two parking spots with a sign to notify drivers that the spots are reserved for electric vehicles only and the parking spaces are now clearly painted green. Public EV charging station locations show up on Google Maps and soon EV owners will be able to locate all Sun Country Highway chargers across Canada in a simple search.
According to the Hotel Association of Canada green hotels like the Hilton Garden Inn at Niagara-on-the-Lake earns an extra LEED point if an electric vehicle charging station is installed. By installing an electric vehicle charging station, hotels like the Hilton are now able to market their hotel as âEV friendlyâ and ahead of other hotels.
âI predict that two years from now, almost every hotel will have at least one electric vehicle charging station. Today we are living in an uncertain economy. In this climate, people are most concerned about employment and paying the bills. Companies that offer EV charging station services use local contractors and electrical contractors in the city of the business to install the charging units. This brings more green jobs to our region and makes our property environmentally friendly,â said Vismeg.
The vast majority of commutes made by North Americans are less than 65 kms (40 miles). Hotel guests, however, are not traditional commuters. Green hotel operators can help alleviate range anxiety by permitting drivers to charge their vehicle hassle-free while they sleep or eat at the hotel restaurant. Installing car charging stations shines a green light on a hotelier's operation and attracts a more affluent clientele.
Sun Country Highway ( www.suncountryhighway ) is a wholly Canadian owned company focused on creating Canada's electric vehicle infrastructure. SCH aims to promote the adoption of clean energy transportation by greening Canada's highways without the use of tax-payer's money.
For more information contact Frank Vismeg at 905-984-4200 or visit www.niagaraonthelake.hgi.com .